Winter can be a beautiful and picturesque time of year, but the freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall can cause problems for your property. As we approach Christmas and with the winter weather already beginning to bite, it’s a good time to make sure your home or business will be safe from the worst effects of the season.
Protect your Pipes
It’s vital that your water pipes are insulated during cold spells, to prevent them from freezing, bursting and flooding your home. Where water pipes are in unheated spaces, such as a loft, it is vital that they are insulated with pipe lagging or by topping up the insulation in the loft.
If the water in a pipe freezes, it will burst through the pipe and when it thaws, flood your home and cause massive amounts of damage. Pipe lagging and insulation can be bought in any major DIY store and is easy to fit yourself. It’s also a good idea to know where your stop valve is located, so you can find it quickly in an emergency to turn the water supply off.
Scottish Water have a useful video on Youtube on how to insulate your pipes and the Scottish Government have advice on how to deal with frozen pipes on their website.
Heating your home
If you plan on spending time away at Christmas (or at any time during cold spells), it is worth keeping your heating on low at all times to prevent pipes from freezing. In addition, increasing the amount of insulation in your loft will make it quicker and cheaper to heat your home, as less heat will escape through the roof space. The Government’s Greener Scotland website provides further useful advice on how to make your home more energy efficient.
It’s also a good idea to have the name of a reputable plumber or heating engineer on hand in case the heating in your home breaks down over the festive period.
Preparing for severe weather
Winter can often mean heavy snowfall, which can often lead to power lines being brought down. Having torches and candles close to hand will be useful if the power supply is interrupted, and the Government advise (in the age of the constantly-being-charged smartphone) having a non-mains powered landline telephone will help you stay in touch.
When snow does fall, it is handy to have a snow shovel and some salt or grit at home to enable you to clear paths and driveways quickly. Also find out where your nearest grit bin is located, which should be replenished when required by your local authority.
Heavy snow landing on roofs can also cause problems when it melts, bringing with it gutters and causing damage to slates and roof tiles, not to mention the damage it can cause if it lands on cars, fences, garden furniture or people walking past. Keep an eye on thick snow on roofs and make sure the snow or falling gutters aren’t going to cause damage if they fall from your roof.
If you have elderly neighbours or relatives, please pop in and check they are OK – winter can be a challenging time for everyone and it’s worth checking on them to see that they are warm and comfortable in their home.
John Lancaster / Architect
4 Carlyle Court, Haddington, East Lothian, EH41 3EZ
Call 07730 532978 or email email@example.com
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